So far what has been achieved in the area is the establishment of a Joint Military Commission and International Monitoring Units in the region with its headquarter in Umm Sirdiba which is about 20 miles east of Kadugli, the main town of the Nuba Mountains and other five monitoring centres.
The first six month period ended with very little being achieved in terms of rehabilitation, reconstruction or development of the area. In fact no real progress has been made in terms of development to alleviate the suffering of the people. However, people seem to enjoy the freedom of movement across the Nuba Mountains region after many years of segregation imposed on them by the war from both sides. Many expect the implementation of the cease-fire agreement means there will be development in the area as soon as landmines are cleared.
The landmines are going to be a major problem which is likely to hinder the progress. It could be some time before the removal of all landmines planted in the area. Recent surveys indicate that the Nuba Mountains is one of the most affected areas in all Sudan and it could take a while if progress remains as slow as it has so far. The US Rapid Response Demining Team attempted mine-clearance with specially-trained dogs at the end of the dry season. They all had to be medivaced back to Mozambique due to heat exhaustion - after ignoring advice from experts. The next opportunity for mine action will be at the end of the rainy season.
In recent months many Nuba have returned from cities in Northern Sudan to their homelands but unfortunately they are now facing many problems, including resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation. Many returnees have already missed the rainy season which means that they did not cultivate their land this year and no harvest awaits them. These people will depend entirely on humanitarian assistance. Therefore, it is important that the UN and international Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) should be involved in the implementation of programs for development of the area as well as providing humanitarian relief aid to people to alleviate their suffering.
The former US Ambassador to Sudan, Timothy Carney visited the Nuba Mountains in August to check on progress in the implementation of the cease-fire agreement. He commented that it appeared northing concrete - apart from security - had been done thus far in terms of reconstruction and development. Acting Governor of South Korfofan state Ahmed Abashar told him that the Government was exerting efforts to build peace in the area, adding that boosting peace was only possible through "executing developmental projects and providing services in the spheres of health, education, roads and clean water."